TO THOSE WHO ARE INVESTIGATING
If you are investigating Mormonism (the "Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints" or "LDS Church"),
you are probably studying it in private meetings in your home
with missionaries from that church. Here are some of the key
things that they are probably telling you:
- Mormonism began when Joseph Smith, a young man in western
New York, was spurred by a Christian revival where he lived in
1820 to pray to God for guidance as to which church was true.
In answer to his prayers he was visited by God the Father and
God the Son, two separate beings, who told him to join no church
because all the churches at that time were false, and that he,
Joseph, would bring forth the true church. This event is called
"The First Vision."
- In 1823 Joseph had another heavenly visitation, in which
an angel named Moroni told him of a sacred history written by
ancient Hebrews in America, engraved in an Egyptian dialect on
tablets of gold and buried in a nearby hill. Joseph was told
it was the history of the ancient peoples of America, and that
Joseph would be the instrument for bringing this record to the
knowledge of the world. Joseph obtained these gold plates from
the angel in 1827, and translated them into English by the spirit
of God and the use of a sacred instrument accompanying the plates
called the "Urim and Thummim." The translation was
published in 1830 as The Book of Mormon.
- The Book of Mormon is a religious and secular
history of the inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere from about
2200 BC to about 421 AD. It tells the reader that the American
Indians are all descended from three groups of immigrants who
were led by God from their original homes in the Near East to
America. One group came from the Tower of Babel, and two other
groups came from Jerusalem just before the Babylonian Captivity,
about 600 BC. They were led by prophets of God who had the gospel
of Jesus Christ, which is thus preserved in their history, the
Book of Mormon. Many of the descendants of these immigrants
were Christians, even before Christ was born in Palestine, but
many were unbelievers. Believers and unbelievers fought many
wars, the last of which left only degenerate unbelievers as survivors,
who are the ancestors of the American Indians. The most important
event during this long history was the visit of Jesus Christ
to America, after his crucifixion, when he ministered to the
- Joseph Smith was directed by revelation from God to reestablish
("restore") the true church, which he did in 1830.
He was visited several times by heavenly messengers, who ordained
him to the true priesthood. He continued to have revelations
from God to guide the church and to give more knowledge of the
Gospel. Many of these revelations are published in the Doctrine
- Joseph Smith and his followers were continually persecuted
for their religious beliefs, and driven from New York State to
Ohio, then to Missouri, then to Illinois, where Joseph Smith
was murdered in 1844 by a mob, a martyr to his beliefs. The church
was then led by Brigham Young, Joseph's successor, to Utah, where
the Mormons settled successfully.
- The LDS church is led today by the successors of Joseph Smith.
The present president of the church is a "prophet, seer
and revelator" just as Joseph Smith was, and guides the
members of the church through revelations and guidance from God.
- The modern LDS church is the only true church, as restored
by God through Joseph Smith. Other churches, derived from the
early Christian church, are in apostasy because their leaders
corrupted the scriptures, changed the ordinances of the original
church, and often led corrupt lives, thus losing their authority.
- By accepting baptism into the LDS church you take the first
step necessary toward your salvation and your ultimate entrance
into the Kingdom of Heaven (the "Celestial Kingdom").
WHAT THE MISSIONARIES WILL
NOT TELL YOU
Here is a summary of important facts about the Mormon church
and its history that the missionaries will probably not tell
you. We are not suggesting that they are intentionally deceiving
you -- most of the young Mormons serving missions for the church
are not well educated in the history of the church or in modern
critical studies of the church. They probably do not know the
all the facts themselves. They have been trained, however, to
give investigators "milk before meat," that is, to
postpone revealing anything at all that might make an investigator
hesitant, even if it is true. But you should be aware
of these facts before you commit yourself.
Each of the following facts has been substantiated by thorough
historical scholarship. And this list is by no means exhaustive!
For links to articles substantiating each of these
points, CLICK on the star * following the item.
- The "First Vision" story in the form presented
to you was unknown until 1838, eighteen years after
its alleged occurrence and almost ten years after Smith had begun
his missionary efforts. The oldest version of the vision is in
Smith's own handwriting, dating from about 1832 (still at least
eleven years afterwards), and says that only one
personage, Jesus Christ, appeared to him. It also mentions nothing
about a revival. It also contradicts the later account as to
whether Smith had already decided that no church was true. Still
a third version of this event is recorded as a recollection in
Smith's diary, fifteen years after the alleged vision, where
only one "personage" appeared, specifically said to
be neither the Father or the Son, accompanied by many "angels,"
which are not mentioned in the official version you have been
told about. Which version is correct, if any? Why was this event,
now said by the church to be so important, unknown for so long? *
- Careful study of the religious history of the locale where
Smith lived in 1820 shows that there was no trace of a religious
revival there at that time. There were revivals in 1817 and 1824,
but none in 1820. *
- In 1828, eight years after he says he had been told by God
himself to join no church, Smith applied for membership in a
local Methodist church. Other members of his family had joined
the Presbyterians. *
- Contemporaries of Smith consistently described him as something
of a confidence man, whose chief source of income was hiring
out to local farmers to help them find buried treasure by the
use of folk magic and "seer stones." Smith was actually
tried in 1826 on a charge of moneydigging. *
- The only persons who claimed to have actually seen the gold
plates were eleven close friends of Smith (many of them related
to each other). Their testimonies are printed in the front of
every copy of the Book of Mormon. No disinterested third
party was ever allowed to examine them. They were retrieved by
the angel at some unrecorded point. Most of the witnesses later
abandoned Smith and left his movement. Smith then called them
- Smith produced most of the "translation" not by
reading the plates through the Urim and Thummim (apparently a
pair of sacred spectacles), but by gazing at the same "seer
stone" he had used for treasure hunting. He would place
the stone into his hat, and then cover his face with it. For
much of the time he was dictating, the gold plates were not even
present, but in a hiding place. *
- The detailed history and civilization described in the Book
of Mormon does not correspond to anything found by archaeologists
anywhere in the Americas. The Book of Mormon describes
a civilization lasting for a thousand years, covering both North
and South America, which was familiar with horses, elephants,
cattle, sheep, wheat, barley, steel, wheeled vehicles, shipbuilding,
sails, coins, and other elements of Old World culture. But no
trace of any of these supposedly very common things has ever
been found in the Americas of that period. Nor does the Book
of Mormon mention any of the features of the civilizations
which really did exist at that time in the Americas. The LDS
church has spent millions of dollars over many years trying to
prove through archaeological research that the Book of Mormon
is an accurate historical record, but they have failed to produce
even a shred of pre-columbian archeological evidence supporting
the Book of Mormon story. In addition, whereas the Book
of Mormon presents the picture of a relatively homogeneous
people, with a single language and communication between distant
parts of the Americas, the pre-columbian history of the Americas
shows the opposite: widely disparate racial types (almost entirely
east Asian - definitely not Semitic), and many unrelated native
languages, none of which are even remotely related to Hebrew
or Egyptian. *
- The people of the Book of Mormon were supposedly devout
Jews observing the Law of Moses, but in the Book of Mormon
there is almost no trace of their observance of Mosaic law or
even an accurate knowledge of it. *
- Although Joseph Smith said that God had pronounced the completed
translation of the plates as published in 1830 "correct,"
many changes have been made in later editions. Besides thousands
of corrections of poor grammar and awkward wording in the 1830
edition, other changes have been made to reflect subsequent changes
in some of the fundamental doctrine of the church. For example,
an early change in wording modified the 1830 edition's acceptance
of the doctrine of the Trinity, thus allowing Smith to introduce
his later doctrine of multiple gods. A more recent change (1981)
replaced "white" with "pure," apparently
to reflect the change in the church's stance on the "curse"
of the black race or darker skinned people. *
- Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon contained
the "fulness of the gospel." However, its teaching
on many doctrinal subjects has been ignored or contradicted by
the present LDS church, and many doctrines now said by the church
to be essential are not even mentioned there. Examples are the
church's position on the nature of God, the Virgin Birth, the
Trinity, polygamy, Hell, priesthood, secret organizations, the
nature of Heaven and salvation, temples, proxy ordinances for
the dead, and many other matters. *
- Many of the basic historical notions found in the Book of
Mormon had appeared in print already in 1825, just two years
before Smith began producing the Book of Mormon, in a
book called View of the Hebrews, by Ethan Smith (no relation)
and published just a few miles from where Joseph Smith lived.
A careful study of this obscure book led one LDS church official
(the historian B. H. Roberts, 1857-1933) to confess that the
evidence tended to show that the Book of Mormon was not
an ancient record, but concocted by Joseph Smith himself, based
on ideas he had read in the earlier book.*
- Although Mormons claim that God is guiding the LDS church
through its president (who has the title "prophet, seer
and revelator"), the successive "prophets" have
repeatedly either led the church into undertakings that were
dismal failures or failed to see approaching disaster. To mention
only a few: the Kirtland Bank, the United Order, the gathering
of Zion to Missouri, the Zion's Camp expedition, polygamy, the
Deseret Alphabet*. The most recent example
is the successful hoax perpetrated on the church by manuscript
dealer Mark Hofmann in the 1980s. He succeeded in selling the
church thousands of dollars worth of manuscripts which he had
forged. The church accepted them as genuine historical documents.
The church leaders learned the truth not from God, through revelation,
but from non-Mormon experts and the police, after Hofmann was
arrested for two murders he committed to cover up his hoax. This
scandal was reported nationwide. *
- The secret temple ritual (the "endowment") was
introduced by Smith in May, 1842, just two months after he had
been initiated into Freemasonry. The LDS temple ritual closely
resembles the Masonic ritual of that day. * Smith
explained that the Masons had corrupted the ancient (God-given)
ritual by changing it and removing parts of it, and that he was
restoring it to its "pure" and "original"
(and complete) form, as revealed to him by God. In the 150 years
since, the LDS church has made many fundamental changes in the
"pure and original" ritual as "restored"
by Smith, mostly by removing major parts of it. *
- Many doctrines which were once taught by the LDS church,
and held to be fundamental, essential and "eternal",
have been abandoned. Whether we feel that the church was correct
in abandoning them is not the point; rather, the point is that
a church claiming to be the church of God takes one "everlasting"
position at one time and the opposite position at another, all
the time claiming to be proclaiming the word of God. Some examples
- The Adam-God doctrine (Adam is God the Father); *
- the United Order (all property of church members is to
be held in common, with title in the church);
- Plural Marriage (polygamy; a man must have more than
one wife to attain the highest degree of heaven); *
- the Curse of Cain (the black race is not entitled to
hold God's priesthood because it is cursed; this doctrine was
not abandoned until 1978); *
- Blood Atonement (some sins - apostasy, adultery, murder,
interracial marriage - must be atoned for by the shedding of
the sinner's blood, preferably by someone appointed to do so
by church authorities);*
All of these doctrines were proclaimed by the reigning prophet
to be the Word of God, "eternal," "everlasting,"
to govern the church "forevermore." All have been abandoned
by the present church.
- Joseph Smith claimed to be a "translator" by the
power of God. In addition to the Book of Mormon, he made
several other "translations":
- The Book of Abraham, from Egyptian papyrus scrolls
which came into his possession in 1838. He stated that the scrolls
were written by the biblical Abraham "by his own hand."
Smith's translation is now accepted as scripture by the LDS church,
as part of its Pearl of Great Price. Smith also
produced an "Egyptian Grammar" based on his translation.
Modern scholars of ancient Egyptian agree that the scrolls are
common Egyptian funeral scrolls, entirely pagan in nature, having
nothing to do with Abraham, and from a period 2000 years later
than Abraham. The Grammar has been said by Egyptologists to prove
that Smith had no notion of the Egyptian language. It is pure
fantasy: he made it up. *
- The "Inspired Revision" of the King James Bible.
Smith was commanded by God to retranslate the Bible because the
existing translations contained errors. He completed his translation
in 1833, but the church still uses the King James Version. *
- The "Kinderhook Plates," a group of eight metal plates
with strange engraved characters, unearthed in 1843 near Kinderhook,
Illinois, and examined by Smith, who began a "translation"
of them. He never completed the translation, but he identified
them as an ancient record, and translated enough to identify
the author as a descendant of Pharaoh. Local farmers later confessed
that they had manufactured, engraved and buried the plates themselves
as a hoax. They had copied the characters from a Chinese tea
- Joseph Smith claimed to be a "prophet." He frequently
prophesied future events "by the power of God." Many
of these prophecies are recorded in the LDS scripture Doctrine
and Covenants. Almost none have been fulfilled, and many
cannot now be fulfilled because the deeds to be done by the persons
named were never done and those persons are now dead. Many prophecies
included dates for their fulfillment, and those dates are now
long past, the events never having occurred. *
- Joseph Smith died not as a martyr, but in a gun battle in
which he fired a number of shots. He was in jail at the time,
under arrest for having ordered the destruction of a Nauvoo newspaper
which dared to print an exposure (which was true) of his secret
sexual liaisons. At that time he had announced his candidacy
for the presidency of the United States, set up a secret government,
and secretly had himself crowned "King of the Kingdom of
- Since the founding of the church down to the present day
the church leaders have not hesitated to lie, to falsify documents,
to rewrite or suppress history, or to do whatever is necessary
to protect the image of the church. Many Mormon historians have
been excommunicated from the church for publishing their findings
on the truth of Mormon history. *
YOUR LIFE AS A MORMON
If you should decide to become a member of the LDS church,
you should be aware of what your life in the church will be like.
Although you will find yourself warmly accepted by a lively community
of healthy, active and generally supportive people, many of whom
are very happy in Mormonism and could not imagine their lives
without it, there is another side:
- You will be continually reminded that to enter the highest
degree of heaven (the "Celestial Kingdom"), you will
have to go through the endowment ceremony in the temple and have
your marriage to your Mormon spouse "sealed." (If your
spouse is not Mormon, you cannot enter the highest degree of
heaven.) To get permission to have these ceremonies performed
in the temple, you must prove yourself to be a faithful and obedient
member of the church and do everything commanded by the church
authorities, from the Prophet down to the local level. You will
have to undergo a personal "worthiness" interview with
the local church authorities inquiring into your private life
and your religious and social activities.
- You will be expected to donate at least ten percent of your
gross income to the church as tithing. Other donations will be
expected as the need arises. You will never see an accounting
of how this money is spent, or how much the church receives,
or anything at all about its financial condition; the church
keeps its finances secret, even from its members. *
- You will be expected to give up the use of alcohol, tobacco,
coffee and tea. In some areas, zealous local Mormon leaders will
also include cola drinks. *
- You will be expected to fulfill any work assignment given
to you. These assignments may be teaching positions, clerk positions,
helping with various support tasks - any job that needs to be
done. Each task you perform successfully will make you eligible
for others, with more responsibility and more demands upon your
time. The members who perform these jobs, even those involving
sensitive pastoral counseling, receive no formal training whatsoever
(there is no paid, trained clergy). You will be told that God
has called you to your assignments. Many Mormons find most of
their spare time taken up with church work, trying to fulfill
the numerous assignments that have been given them.
- You will be expected to be unquestioningly obedient to church
authorities in whatever they might tell you to do. "Follow
the Brethren" is the slogan, and it means to follow without
doubt or question. Discussion of whether a decree from above
is correct is discouraged. You will be expected to have faith
that the leaders cannot possibly lead you astray. Even if they
should tell you something which contradicts what a previous prophet
may have said, you will be told "A living prophet takes
precedence over a dead prophet."*
- You will be able to "vote" on those who have been
called to positions of authority over you, but the voting will
be by the show of hands in a public meeting. Only one candidate
for each office will be voted on (the one "called by God").
The voting is therefore always unanimous in favor of the candidate.
- You will be told not to read any material which is "not
faith-promoting," that is, which may be critical or questioning
of the church or its leaders, or which might place the church
or its leaders in an unfavorable light.
- You will be told not to associate with "apostates,"
that is, former Mormons. (You will probably be asked in your
"worthiness" interview about this.)
- If you are unmarried, you will be encouraged to marry a good
Mormon as soon as possible. When you do marry, in a wedding ceremony
in the temple, your non-Mormon family members and friends will
not be allowed to attend the ceremony, because only "worthy"
Mormons are allowed to enter the temple.
- If you are homosexual, you will be pressured to abandon this
"evil" aspect of your nature. If you do not, you will
probably not be fully accepted by other church members. If you
do not remain celibate, you may be excommunicated. *
- If you are a male over 12 years of age and "worthy"
(that is, if you are obedient, attend meetings, do not masturbate*, etc.), you will be ordained to one
of the levels of priesthood, and, if you continue to be faithful
and obedient, you will gradually advance through the priesthood
ranks. If you are female, you will receive the benefits of priesthood
authority only indirectly, through your Mormon father or your
Mormon husband. The role of the Mormon woman is to be a wife
and mother and to obey and honor her priest husband (or father).
- If you prove yourself to be faithful, hard working and obedient,
you will eventually be considered worthy to "receive your
endowment" in a Mormon temple. You will not be told in advance
exactly what to expect in this lengthy ceremony, except that
the details of the ritual are secret (Mormons prefer to say they
are just "sacred," but they treat them as though they
are secret). As part of that ceremony you will be required to
swear a number of oaths, the penalty for violation of which is
no longer stated but until 1990 was death by various bloody methods,
such as having your throat slit from ear to ear. You will be
given the secret signs and passwords which are required to enter
heaven. (Although most Mormons who have not received the endowment
know very little about the ceremony, the entire liturgy is now
available on the Internet to Mormon and non-Mormon alike.) After
receiving the endowment you will be required to wear a special
undergarment at all times. *
- If you should ever decide that you made a mistake in joining
the church and then leave it, you will probably find (judging
from the experiences of others who have done so) that many of
your Mormon friends will abandon and shun you. If you are unable
to convince your family members to leave the church with you,
you will find that the church has broken up your family and your
relationship with them may never recover. *
Consider very carefully before you commit yourself, and remember
that any doubts you may have now will likely only increase.
Examine carefully both sides of the Mormon story. Listen to
the stories of those who have been through an unhappy Mormon
experience, not just those Mormons who may speak glowingly of
life in the church. *
The Mormon missionaries are often charming and enthusiastic.
They have an attractive story to tell. At first it sounds wonderful.
But remember the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be
true, it probably is!" Be careful not to fall into the trap
of believing something simply because you want it to be true.
Mormons may tell you that those who criticize the church are
lying, misquoting and distorting. If you examine the sources
used by the critics, however, you will discover that most of
their source material is from official or semi-official Mormon
writings. You, too, should examine those sources.
Is Mormonism a "cult"? Many experts on religious
cults see in Mormonism the same fundamental characteristics as
cults which have entrapped the unsuspecting, even though most
people think of "cults" only as small, unknown groups.
Use a "cult checklist" to evaluate Mormonism, or any
group, before you commit yourself.*
To get more information about the other side of Mormonism,
or to see the evidence supporting any of our statements about
the church, feel free to contact us. Our only aim is to make
sure that you hear both sides. We promise not to preach at you,
but only to provide you with facts to balance the Mormon story.
for the names and e-mail addresses of people to contact. Click
here to read personal
stories of people who have left Mormonism.
For a version of this INVESTIGATOR'S INFORMATION
TRACT which can be downloaded and printed for handing out or
mailing click here.
It contains instructions on how to edit it for use as a hand-out.
NOTES AND LINKS TO MORE FACTS
- DISCLAIMER: Some of the links
and references listed here, in addition to containing valuable
material about Mormonism, also contain Christian proselytizing
material. Their inclusion here is not intended as an endorsement
of any pro-Christian or pro-Bible statements: this site does
not endorse or promote any religion or religious organization.
INTERNET SITES AND LISTS OF LINKS
Links to other sites.
- Jerald (deceased) and Sandra Tanner have text of many early
Mormon publications, including the 1830 version of the Book
of Mormon and the original Book of Commandments. Curt
Van Den Heuvel's site.
In Transition," sponsored by the Insitute for Religious
Research, with many articles; pro-Christian orientation; another
on-line newsgroup, (MIT-Talk) with evangelical basis
http://www.mrm.org The "Mormon
Research Ministry," an evangelical Christian group headed
by Bill McKeever; many good articles on Mormonism
"Saints Alive In Jesus" group, an evangelical Christian
group headed by Ed Decker
Listed here are only a few "must read" books. There
are hundreds of others.
If your local library does not own them, your librarian can obtain
them for you on interlibrary loan, usually for a very small fee.
Most books listed are linked to on-line reviews or order information.
No Man Knows
My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn M. Brodie,
2nd ed., Knopf, New York, 1993. The most authoritative biography
of Joseph Smith. Brodie is a well recognized historian.
or Reality by Gerald and Sandra Tanner, 5th edition,
Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1987, Salt Lake City. Also published
in a slightly smaller version as The Changing World of Mormonism,
Moody Press, Chicago, 1981. The Tanners have done extensive research
on early Mormon history and made many rare publications available
by publishing photocopies of them at a low price. This book is
a good summary of the contradictions and problems of Mormonism.
Available from Utah
Lighthouse Ministry, where a catalog of their publications
Mormonism: Tradition and the Historical Record by H.
Michael Marquardt and Wesley P. Walters, Signature Books, Salt
Lake City, 1994. A detailed examination of Mormonism's origins
Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death
by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Weidenfeld & Nicolson,
New York, 1988. The gripping account of the Mark Hofmann forgeries
and murders, by two reporters. The role of the Mormon church
leadership in this scandal is carefully documented here.
REFERENCES TO SPECIFIC TOPICS
THE "FIRST VISION"
THE NON-EXISTENT 1820 REVIVAL
Marquardt's book Inventing Mormonism, a scholarly investigation
into Mormonism's early years.
JOSEPH SMITH AND THE METHODISTS
For Smith's connection with the Methodists, see Inventing
Mormonism, pp 54-55, citing Turner, History of Phelp's
and Gorham's Purchase, p. 214, which relates that Smith was
an informal "exhorter" at Methodist camp meetings before
1822; Pomeroy Tucker, The Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism
(NY 1867), p 18: Smith joined the "probationary class"
of the Methodist church; there was no Methodist church in Palmyra
until July 1821 (Inventing Mormonism, p 60 n 41); Tanner
Mormonism: Shadow or Reality
p 162, citing account of Emma Smith's cousins that Smith applied
for membership in the Methodist church in 1828, from an account
published in the Amboy Journal.
BOOK OF MORMON
JEWISH LAW AND THE
BOOK OF MORMON
Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue #74, February 1990, available
from Utah Lighthouse Ministry
THE HOFMANN MURDER SCANDAL
Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death
by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, Weidenfeld Nicolson,
New York, 1988. The role of the Mormon church leadership in this
scandal is carefully documented here.
Salt Lake City Messenger, issues #63 (May 1987) and #83
(Nov. 1992), available by mail for small charge from Utah
THE MORMON TEMPLE
CEREMONY (THE "ENDOWMENT")
The first five links contain the actual text of the ceremony
in the various forms it has had since the early days of the church.
THE "ADAM = GOD"
The changes in the Mormon doctrine about God.
See also: Adam is God??? by Chris A. Vlachos, pamphlet
available from Utah Lighthouse
A good discussion, with photocopy of Bruce R. McConkie's private
admission that Brigham Young did teach the doctrine, is in Tanner,
LDS Apostle Confesses Brigham Young Taught Adam-God Doctrine,
available from Utah Lighthouse
Ministry. Similar material is in Banister's book For
Any Latter- Day Saint
A review of Mormon
Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, by Linda King Newell and
Valene Tippett Avery, University of Illinois Press, 1994; a biography
of Joseph Smith's first wife, relating the development of Smith's
ideas on polygamy and her opposition to it.
Polygamy: A History by Richard S. Van Wagoner, Signature
Books, Salt Lake City. An excellent history of its theory and
THE "CURSE OF
CAIN": THE CHANGING DOCTRINE ON SKIN COLOR
THE DOCTRINE OF
"BLOOD ATONEMENT" AND THE DANITES ("AVENGING ANGELS")
The authoritative work on the Mountain Meadows Massacre is Juanita
Mountain Meadows Massacre, Univ. of Oklahoma Press,
THE BOOK OF
The complete book By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus by Charles
REVISION" OF THE BIBLE
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
(RLDS) has long used the version by Smith. For discussion see
Tanner, Mormonism: Shadow
or Reality, pp. 386-389.
JOSEPH SMITH'S PROPHECIES
Another article on the Civil War prophecy
JOSEPH SMITH'S DEATH
For a detailed discussion of Smith's political ambitions, his
title "king" and his secret government, see the book
by D. Michael Quinn, The
Mormon Hierarchy: [Volume 1] The Origins of Power, Signature
Books, Salt Lake City, 1994. (Quinn was excommunicated from the
Mormon church for his historical researches, but remains a believer)
OF MORMON HISTORY
A discussion of speech by Dallin Oaks, a high-ranking church
official, on the need for withholding the whole truth.
A good example of the church's distortion of history is its long
cover-up of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. See Juanita Brooks,
Meadows Massacre, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
TITHING, CHURCH WEALTH
Book: On the wealth of the church, see: Anson Shupe, Wealth
and Power in American Zion, Lewiston NY 1992, or John Heinerman
and Anson Shupe, The Mormon Corporate Empire, Beacon,
A speech by E. T. Benson, a recent prophet and president, instructing
members to obey the prophet without questioning and without checking
his advice against scripture.
A critical article on the church's attempts at mind control.
The recent mass excommunications of intellectuals and historians
who questioned church authority.
Another article by Dr. Jensen, criticizing the church's department
of social services
POSITION OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
Books by two exmormon women describing their difficulties with
the church's treatment of women:
Deborah Laake, Secret
Ceremonies, Dell, 1993
Sonia Johnson, From Housewife to Heretic, Doubleday, 1981.
Johnson was excommunicated for her activism in favor of the Equal
A woman's viewpoint.
How the church misrepresents its stance on the role of women.
STORIES BY FORMER MORMONS
The following site has the personal stories of people who left
the church and their many different reasons for doing so.
IS MORMONISM A CULT?
The following links are to a checklist and other guidelines,
to help you to evaluate whether any group is a "cult."
This article is Copyrighted 1997 by Richard Packham. This article
may be freely distributed in print and on other web sites only
when used in its entirety and as long as this Copyright notice
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